OTTAWA, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Friday cited commentators’ concerns that the government consider Chinese openness to Canadian investment in deciding whether to approve a $15.1 billion takeover bid by China’s CNOOC Ltd for Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc .
“Much has been written about that,” he told a reporter when asked if reciprocity was part of the consideration in deciding on the CNOOC bid. “Many of the commentators have advanced the thesis that reciprocity ought to be a fundamental concern. It really is up to the minister of industry to deal with these issues of specific circumstances.”
The Globe and Mail newspaper reported this week that Flaherty had privately warned colleagues that blocking the Nexen bid for political reasons would hurt shareholder value and damage relations with China. His office declined to comment on the report.